le_bebna_kamni: (IndianaJones)
Ah, it's a beautiful thing. After seven years of not (willingly) setting foot inside a church, I have finally found the one that I want to belong to. And My New Heaven Has Jacuzzi Suites )
le_bebna_kamni: (MIB)
Two days ago, I was a firm agnostic (or at least wavering equally between the two sides). In fact, my original intent was to post my frustrations in regards to George H. Smith’s Atheism: The Case Against God. Namely, I was perturbed by his rather narrow definition of agnosticism and his insistence that you must be either a theist or and atheist – there is no middle ground.

While I may later post the rant on this topic (before the scrawled thoughts get lost in my “organization” system), my current post regards a book that has decidedly shifted me from agnostic to nearly atheist, or at least anti-theist.

This particular book, The G.O.D. Experiments by Gary E. Schwartz, was not some scathing diatribe against theism. On the contrary, this book was designed to encourage the readers to believe in a "Guiding, Organizing Designer" (G.O.D. – a.k.a. intelligent design).Burn Books Now )

So why did this change my mind about being agnostic? Normally I read moronic arguments from either side and discard them (well, I usually complain about the stupidity and then discard them). But as I was reading, I realized that I could do much better defending the "pure chance" camp than I camp than I could defend the "intelligent design" camp. Of course, this doesn't rule out a god (not a G.O.D., but a god – an all powerful being that could at least potentially fuck with the universe). But perhaps this god really doesn't care, and has no desire to deal in the affairs of humans or galaxies or atoms. But a god like this isn't scientifically testable, so why worry if this god exists?

I now understand why many intelligent people turn atheist. I went online to do a search for "reasons why God might exist". The most intelligent arguments eventually boiled down to this:

1) chance can't possibly explain the universe.
2) we haven't come up with any better idea for how the universe exists.
3) therefore, god must have done it.

It's the "god of the gaps" philosophy that I detest so much. "We don't know how the universe began, so we'll just say god created it, and everything's answered." "We don't know what creates lightning, so it can only be Zeus" – at least back then it was excusable. While we're on the subject of erroneous explanations, I've got a few more to add:
A) Invisible dragons hold the universe together by flying around and manipulating things. Spiral galaxies are created by their wings as they fly in circles. Entropy will be kept in check by their fiery breath.
B) Our universe is a giant hairball coughed up by some ever-present cosmic cat.
C) A herd of giant spaghetti monsters rules the universe. The planets are made to be meatballs, which will be gathered up at the end of the universe. All unbelievers will be thrown into a vat of sauce, where they will be struck down with a horrendous form of "pastaplegia".

(By the way, now that we must worship the spaghetti monsters, my significant other and I realized that we can take Holy Communion every time we visit Olive Garden. Catholics take their communion wafers as the body of Christ; and we take our pasta in remembrance of those who created us all.)

Footnotes For The True Believers )

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